What problem does it solve? Insufficient infrastructure and staffing in our state parks - Many parks charge no entrance or use fees despite being extensively used for activities that can generate significant waste and the potential for environmental degradation when not properly managed. Additionally, many of these parks suffer from under-staffing for their size (e.g. Wharton State Forest) or aging facilities (e.g. Barnegat Lighthouse). What is your solution and who does it apply to? The solution is two-fold and would apply to all state parks. First, a nominal entrance fee (e.g. $5 per car) should be charged by these parks to generate a revenue stream that could be used to fund staffing and infrastructure needs. The appropriate fee for each park could be determined by a review of visitation numbers, use types, and opportunities within the park. Second, a cohesive concessionaire policy should be developed by the state to simplify the process of concessionaire review and selection within these parks. What is the anticipated impact? This would benefit all NJ residents (by making a the currently tax-funded state parks program more self-sufficient), all visitors to state parks (by improving facilities and maintenance), and the environment (by improving enforcement of use rules). Of course, all residents should be able to enjoy state parks regardless of their ability to pay. As such, a free state park pass should be available to low-income residents.
Define "low income" for free entrance.. More self sufficient ran parks would mean less governmental control, more volunteering and/or privatizing. Before any more fees are introduced, previous spending and budgets need to be reviewed. Lets start at funding mismanagement and decide on priorities, before imposing any more fees to solve the never ending problems.
Our taxes pay for this, why should we double or triple pay for basic access to greenspaces?! We're the state that pays for public beaches! WHY?
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